As first indicated by TomahawkNation.com this afternoon, Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden will retire tomorrow after 34 seasons in Tallahassee.
As we reported today, sources indicate that Bowden was not given the option to return in any coaching capacity but rather as an ambassador/ fundraiser type. Bowden learned of the news today during an emotional meeting with Florida State President and former Bowden player T.K. Wetherell and Athletic Director Randy Spetman.
Bowden would not agree to those terms and is now set to retire. He is guaranteed $1 million per his contract upon retirement, and our sources now tell us that he will not receive anywhere near as large of an additional golden parachute as once suspected. The matter will be handled via press release and not a press conference, which is how Bowden wanted it, as he has repeatedly stated that he did not want a farewell tour.
After leading FSU on a great two-decade run including two national championships and an unprecedented streak of 14 consecutive top-5 AP finishes, Bowden has presided over what many are referring to as the "Lost Decade." With the university hemorrhaging cash, the decision makers don't believe that at 80 Bowden is the man to turn around the program.
Jimbo Fisher, the reigning ACC Offensive Coordinator of the Year and head coach in waiting (HCIW), will be announced as head coach later this week after wrapping up some recruiting matters. Bowden is expected to coach the bowl game though he did apparently threaten not to if his contract was not renewed. [Update: Bowden did rescind his threat not to coach the bowl game and will be on the sidelines one final time.]
[Note: Gator Bowl President Rick Catlett on 1010XL radio in Jacksonville this morning: If Bobby agrees to coach the bowl game, FSU will be playing WVU on January 1st. We have learned that this is a highly unusual move, but as long as the ACC allows it, it will go through. FSU's 4-4 conference record is only a game off those with 5-3 conference records.]
[Note: Linebackers Coach Chuck Amato, Defensive Ends Coach Jody Allen, and Running Backs Coach Dexter Carter are not expected to be retained. Legendary Defensive Coordinator Mickey Andrews announced his retirement last month. It is unknown whether S&C Coach Todd Stroud will be retained. ]
[Note: Bowden will address the team at 2:15ish, per ESPN. An announcement should come after that meeting.]
[Note: As for who the next defensive coordinator will be, we have you covered: http://www.tomahawknation.com/2009/10/15/1058464/who-might-jimbo-fisher-select-as Of that list, the 'Bama boys (Smart/Sunseri) seem to produce the most smoke, but Jones and Hudson haven't been ruled out to us.]
[The Democrat is reporting that Bowden will stay on with FSU as a fundraiser for the Florida State boosters, an idea our sources floated to us Sunday. He had previously rejected offers of this nature. ]